Educational and Community Leadership

School Culture

During Joel’s tenure at Broward County Public Schools, he brought forward many innovations that had systemic importance.  Among them were:

The creation of an entire series of ‘school culture’ data sets.  These reports allowed staff to drill into at risk behavior occurring at individual schools.  The data sets are so sophisticated that they were able to disaggregate information to the point of specificity that, for example, could answer the questions: How many African-American males at school X (through yesterday) participated in the Student Code of Conduct violation of fighting, or how many Caucasian females at school Y (through yesterday) participated in the Student Code of Conduct violation of defiant behavior, or how many Hispanic males at school Z (through yesterday) participated in a Student Code of Conduct violation regarding the bullying policy?  This information allows for an analysis of behavior – school by school – to drive appropriate intervention/prevention resources to ‘flow’ to the location.

In and of itself, this is powerful information.  Without a concerted, planned intervention/prevention program, however, it is simply information.  With leadership support, Joel used State of Florida Safe Schools funds to contract with Dr. Randy Sprick and his Safe & Civil Schools organization to embark on a five year program to address school culture challenges, based on both the data and feedback from the school.  This process allowed school and district staff to participate in intensive professional development to bring positive school culture change to the individual school locations. Data from this effort (including comparison data relating schools involved in the initiative versus schools not involved) confirmed the positive impact of the effort.  

In 2009, Dr. Bill McBride published If They Can Argue Well, They Can Write Well.” Joel purchased a copy of it for each of the 41 middle schools.  Planning for 2010, he was able to get a commitment from Dr. McBride to participate in a learning community with interested Broward County teachers centered on the application of the book.  As a result of the elimination of the Office of Dropout Prevention / Alternative Education, this dynamic opportunity did not come to fruition.








It's Always the Right Time to do the Right Thing-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.